Nobody wants to be arrested for a DUI. If consumed alcohol but need to drive without being arrested for a DUI, you can measure your blood alcohol level, not drive, and avoid a DUI in Los Angles. Knowing your blood alcohol level in a roadside situation is not easy. Blood alcohol levels can be measured by analyzing blood, but many people are scared of such an invasive method. Measuring blood alcohol level using a breathalyzer is also not the best way to determine the blood alcohol concentration because the breathalyzers can be very inaccurate. Analyzing body fluids, are also not simple enough to measure BAC (blood alcohol content) in roadside situations. However, a recent device built by the University of California in San Diego uniquely measures the blood alcohol level (BAC) and can be used to prevent a DUI arrest. This new device can help drivers know their blood alcohol level and stop them from driving, thus, preventing them from getting a DUI.
Patrick Mercier, an electrical and computer engineering professor at UCSD, knew that blood alcohol concentration is one of the most effective ways to determine if someone is impaired. He and his colleagues decided to improve the measuring with new, easy-to-wear devices. To reach their goal, Mr. Mercier and a UCSD nano-engineer Joseph Wang created several alcohol monitoring systems. One of the systems uses a temporary tattoo that sticks to the skin. The idea of using tattoos to measure blood alcohol concentration or based on Mr. Mercier’s previous research in which he developed similar technology for glucose and lactate monitoring. The tattoo magnetically attaches to a flexible electronic board that measures the blood alcohol level.
The temporary tattoo is manufactured on a specialized paper that is screen-printed with silver and silver chloride electrodes that create a small and harmless electrical current. The electrical current goes through a gel in the tattoo that releases a substance that causes the skin to sweat. When the sweat comes up through the skin pores, the alcohol-sensitive enzyme sensor in the tattoo measures the amount of alcohol in the sweat. The higher the concentration of the alcohol, the stronger the current and the higher the measurement of the blood alcohol level. The electronic board then transfers the data to the wearer’s mobile device via Bluetooth technology and warns the wearer that he or she is above the legal limit and can be arrested for a DUI if he or she drives.
As discussed above, Mr. Mercier worked on a similar technology prior to developing this alcohol-measuring tattoo by creating devices that measured the glucose and lactate levels. The alcohol-measuring tattoo technology was tested in a laboratory setting using nine volunteers who used the device by wearing it before and after the consumption of alcohol. Mr. Mercier says that the alcohol sensors were able to measure the amount of alcohol in volunteers’ blood accurately. The results of the study were published in ACS Sensors magazine.
Mr. Mercier believes that “temporary tattoos” BAC measurement is very versatile in usage. The cost of the device is extremely low and can be manufactured for only a few cents per tattoo. The device is disposable and can be a great help not only for self-testing by drivers who are concerned about getting a DUI, but also it can be used by police, bartenders, and various medical and scientific researchers, in investigating DUI and other crimes, or use in the emergency room setting.
The temporary tattoo technology can be improved. The current device is designed for a singular use and should be disposed of after a 5-minute of usage. Mercier’s team is working on a 24-hour version of the device, with the main purpose to help doctors monitor body functions. Also, the nine volunteers group used in the study was too small of a sample size to determine the device’s effectiveness. A much larger sample size of test subjects should be used to get a better feel for the device’s effectiveness. Lastly, the main concern about the device is that it works only for a few minutes while alcohol is absorbed by the human body and can last hours. Thus, measuring the blood alcohol level by the temporary tattoo technology can only alert the driver against driving at the time of testing. But because alcohol levels can rise or fall, the driver can also become over the legal limit sometimes after the testing.
The best way to prevent a DUI is, not to drink and drive. But, if you consumed alcohol, you can determine your blood alcohol level by having a temporary tattoo measure it and alerts you to the risk of a DUI. If you are arrested for DUI, call Los Angles DUI attorney for professional help and free attorney consultation.
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Photo: University of California, San Diego